Saturday, December 29, 2012


...the white stuff. The refined bad for you I crave it. I want chocolate bars, I want to eat that box of Turtles from Christmas. I want to eat those butter tarts in the crinkly Christmassy cellophane bags tied with red and green ribbons. I wonder if I will always struggle with this or if the cravings fade over time?

I've eaten some dried apricots to help with the sugar cravings meh! It's ok but I would guess it's like a smoker trying to quit by smoking but not inhaling, not sure how well that would work.

Oh well, it is what it is. If I want to reduce my cholesterol level, loose some weight, get some energy, and lower my "on the high side of normal" blood pressure then I gotta stick with this, I truly believe my life depends on it.

Looking forward to tomorrow ... looks like I have some kale to cook up.

Friday, December 28, 2012

What's missing?

I'm liking this new diet but for one thing ... the missing fat! Somehow the butter and the oil smooths out the food, makes my mouth feel somewhat silky! I'm getting some fat from nuts but it's not quite the same. This doesn't mean that I'm quitting ... quite the opposite. I feel good and not counting calories feels really good and eating whenever I'm hungry is a real treat.

Today I ate:

-1 slice of whole grain bread with tomato slices and pea shoots
-2 slices of whole grain bread with mustard, field greens and tomato slices
-1 banana
-2 oranges
-2 handfuls of trail mix
-3 slices of soya cheese and 10 rice and seed crackers
-1 cup of all bran with one cup of chocolate almond milk ... I know chocolate ... it tasted like dessert
-3 cups of root veggies (potatoes, yams and carrots) roasted with garlic, herbs and 1 tbs of olive oil.
-1 large green salad topped with ground flax seeds, tomatoes and yellow pepper

Seems like a lot of food ... well it was and I feel satisfied and I don't feel guilty, aah life is good!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

On my way to a healthy new me....

Forget New Year's ... I'm going to change today! Big words I know. How did I get here? That's a two sided question. How did I let myself get so fat, so out of shape, so UNHEALTHY, that's one question and the other did I decide adopting a veganish way of living was the way to go. Please note the word "veganish" ... I will explain in later posts.

A little while back I watched Forks over Knives documentary and it just made sense to me. Basically it talks about a healthy all plant, whole food diet. Lots of tests to back it all up. I urge you to watch the film. So starting today I'm giving up any food that has a mom and dad, be it meat or liquid.

I will try to document best I can the ups and downs of this new dietary journey very honestly. Today was easy ... but then I am excited about this new thing in my life and I just went out and bought a ton of fruits, veggies, nuts, soy milk and soy cheese ... my mind is turning and spinning at the prospect of cooking in a new way.

So far I have eaten:
- two slices of whole grain toasted bread, one slice with peanut butter and the other with sliced tomato and pea shoots.
- 3 cups of black coffee
- 1 banana
- 10 organic whole grain crackers with 3 slices of soy cheddar like cheese
- 2 glasses of red wine
- green salad with about 1/3 cup of trail mix, 1 diced tomato, 1/4 cup of ground flax seeds and 1 tbs of balsamic vinaigrette
- 2 cups of chick peas with about 5 cups of diced red pepper, eggplant, yellow and green zucchini, onion, garlic and diced tomatoes.
-1 apple
- a handful of pitted prunes and dried apricots
- green tea

Looks good doesn't it?

More tomorrow!

Friday, November 23, 2012

food fermentation

The Powell River Food security project hosted a beginners course on food fermentation last week. I was interested because sauerkraut was on the list and I love sauerkraut.

If you asked me two weeks ago I would have said sauerkraut is cooked and vinegar is used as a preservative, not true .... sauerkraut is fermented using salt and whey.

It's really quite simple, all you need is a little bit of time. This is what we did:

Very thinly slice one head of cabbage
Shred  1 - 2 carrots
add 1/4 cup of whey
add 1tbsp unrefined sea salt or 2 tbsp if you are not using whey

Mix everything together into a large bowl, mix it/beat it well for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the veggies release their juices and are very wet.

Pack the veggies very tightly into a 1litre jar with a tight fitting jar, before closing the lid, add a cabbage leaf and tuck it around the shredded cabbage. The cabbage must be underwater at all times or it will spoil. Leave about 1 inch of head space. Place the jar at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks and then store in the fridge or in a cool cellar. The sauerkraut will be good to eat as early as a week after you make it but it will become more flavourful as it matures. Store leftover sauerkraut in smaller jars to ensure you maintain the 1 inch head space in the jar.

Beat it and massage your veggies!

The class busy chopping, dicing and mixing

From left to right, sauerkraut, kim chi and ketchup

Friday, November 16, 2012

Under the grape vines ...

We had so much under these now bare grape vines. Late night drinks with friends, a magical night with all the candles lit. Family barbecues, shucking peas and beans and  lovely cool shade from the burning sun. 
Til next year!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sista party

I got to 50 first but my sisters are following ... this time it's Liz's turn. Hard to believe she is now 50 and it was time to celebrate. Julie flew in from Kelowna. Iolanda and I took the bus and ferry to Victoria and Alessia skyped from Australia.

Celebrating birthdays together is now a tradition. Some way or another we try our hardest to get together for sure, once every year, but if the stars, the moons and planets are aligned just right, twice.

Every year we have a great time together with a continuing theme, food and drink. Usually my sister Liz does most of the cooking, afterall, she is the most fabulous cook. Nothing scares her, she will tackle almost any ingredient and cooking method, and she will also come up with some super drinks, again she finds all sorts of  unique spirits and liquers. Did you know there is such a thing as grapefruit liquer and did you know it makes a special glass of sparkling wine extra special? Well Liz knows! She also makes sure that a bottle of champagne is chilling at all times. This gal is full of life and joie de vivre and always ready to pop the cork to celebrate ...

So what to do for this very special sis on her very big birthday? Well we couldn't very well make her cook could we? We decided to all go out for dinner to a French bistro, the Bon Rouge, believe it or not this was the first time in history that we have gone out to eat for dinner. Dinner was fabulous, the restaurant is beautiful and we had a grand time. Could this be a new tradition? Only time will tell.

From left to right, Liz, Julie and Iolanda
Next up will be Julie, she still has a few years before she reaches 50, wonder what we will do? Whatever we decide to do we will have many sista parties between now and then to discuss in great detail what we will eat and drink ... hope you are ready Liz! You have lots of cooking ahead of you. Love you all sisters.

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's cherry time ...

This year the cherries hang in bunches like grapes, so many in our backyard tree. We picked a large bucket without the need of a ladder.  Eat one - pick one, eat one - pick one ... easy picking for now.  I'll now pit the  cherries and then use them at the diner for pies, jam and compote, should be good!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Crafting up a new doll ....

I've been loving the Waldorf doll look and have made a few over the last few months. This little gal started with a really cute face but I ran out of material for the body ... her first little body was way to big for the head

Cut a new body out, in a different material, but ugh it was ugly!  Anyway I could not throw that little face out and yet I was tired of seeing it on my craft table. I managed to finish the doll, she is out of my craft room and I'm happy about that.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Powell River Garden Tour

The Powell River garden tour is an annual event that I try not too miss. Yesterday some friends and I had the pleasure of seeing, walking and enjoying some lovely gardens. I thought I would take many more pictures but I only took this one! I fell in love with this flower .... which is a shame because I have no idea what it is!

Do you know what this is?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bear necessities ...

I'm really late with these pictures that I took of a bear in my backyard helping himself to apples ...this happened last fall but yikes I need to post something!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Another late spring...

Well this year's spring is just a little better than last, it seems to be a little drier, just a tad but it's still really cold! We are into May and I still have tulips. Lilacs which are usually ready for Mother's day will likely not show up in time....

But even with less than stellar conditions nature always has something to show ...

Friday, April 20, 2012

A lad for the ladies...

You would expect a person who raises chickens and allows those chickens to hatch their eggs would have a plan on how to deal with the potential of having several roosters and chickens hatch. If you don't know, you can only have one rooster in one chicken coop. If you have more than one rooster they will fight to have control of the chickens.  Well it seems that a neighbour of mine has found a new way to rid himself of roosters, he just throws them out of the coop to fend for themselves. My heart broke when I found out he threw 3 out, two went missing in no time, one survived, a friend and I tried to catch him but to no avail. It would seem we have a feral rooster in our neighbourhood and I sure hope he makes it.

In the meantime I found out that said neighbour has two other roosters ready to be chucked but luckily I was able to rescue one. So my ladies have a new and very handsome lad in their midst, a bantam rooster. They did not even blink an eye when I placed him the hen house late one night, next morning it was just business as usual in the coop.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In the garden

Spring is slightly better this year than last...just slightly, not as wet but definitely as cold. I've been able to spend a bit more time outside this year and managed to get quite a bit of weeding done and even more important I pulled lots of starters from plants that self seed which thrills me to no end because now I have loads of room for new plants.

This year I also planted lots of bushes, climbing vines and trees and so far it looks like all of them are in good shape. For many years I've wanted a Winter Currant, they grow wild here on the West Coast, and believe me .... digging one up has crossed my mind...but it's not the responsible, or legal for that matter, thing to do. I am the ultimate cheap gardener, I generally get all my plants from other gardeners and if I buy a plant it's usually on sale at the end of the year but not this time! This time I purchased this beautiful bush and oh I so love it...and so do the hummingbirds!

And finally a tulip the deer did not eat....

How does your garden grow?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Floyd's Diner

I own a diner ... so when I travel I will eat in a diner...not sure if I'm supporting other diners, scoping out the compitition or just looking to compare my food to others and copy said others, if the food is worth copying.
I know...I can't believe I just admitted that!

Floyd's Diner in Victoria is a cool looking place, very colorful, lots of seats, and a great menu...but wow...I can not find their website...don't they have one?

I had the Ranchero eggs and Art had eggs benny, both were good but ...  mine are better! No copying this time around.

Monday, April 9, 2012

We beat the storm...

On our way home on BC ferries from Comox to Powell River we beat the storm and headed towards sunny skies...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Townsite Brewing Co.

Powell River now has it's own craft beer...brought to us by Townsite Brewing Co.

The first keg was delivered to Mckinny's Pub at the Rodmay hotel on March 24th. I was lucky to have a taste and oh boy, it's really delicious!

A very colorful parade took the first kegs to the pub...the parade was led by a bag piper, followed by two goats, a biker and carriage, carrying a bride and groom...they were having their reception next to the brewery and were asked if they wanted to be in the parade...

And the mastermind behind this hugely anticipated event, Karen, owner of the brewery, way to go Karen!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


When forsythias bloom spring is here...the yellow flowers bloom quite early making it easy for me to forget about the short days of winter.

Forsythia are very low maintance and easy to start from cuttings...last summer I snipped a few branches from my neighbours bush, I put them in a bucket of water and well, I know it seems too easy, but I just left them there for a year, making sure the bucket never ran dry, that's it. Only one of the four branches grew roots but that's OK, I'll snip some more this year, in the bucket I place all sorts of cuttings, some take some don't, but it's so effortless that it'w worth a try.

This is my "cuttings bucket", at the back of the house, out of sight and the hot sun. I have a cutting from an unknown bush which growns outside my diner but love the berries...I hope it roots!

As you can see the forsythia grew quite a large root ball over winter.

An a bonus...a new shoot.

I planted the cutting in some compost and new soil at the edge of the yard hoping to create a privacy fence.

The hot dry summer may kill your new cuttings so it's best to plant cuttings in the spring and fall as new plants need lots of water.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A day at the park...

All she wants to do is swing oh my what a fuss she made when it was time to go!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Finally finished this skirt...believe it or not the pattern is only two peices, very, very simple, but it still took me 3 weeks to complete, next I will tackle the top...I hope I can complete it a little faster!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Uniquely West Coast

Heading to Earls Cove from Saltry Bay on BC Ferries....wind blowing...making it hard to take a breath...the clouds gather between the mountains...this is the West Coast of British Columbia.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I have been absent for some time....but I'm mourning the much to early death of my friend. She fought hard, for eight months, but in the end cancer won. Deirdre was diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer, small cell carcinoma in the cervix, so rare that in 2010 out of 11,000 cases in the USA of cervical cancer, only 100 women had this particular kind of cancer...scary statistics.

There are so many things I want to say about Deirdre but it all boils down to one thing, Deirdre was an angel here on earth and I will miss her forever.

She was quite often present at one of the famous sister parties...after all she was the point to the pyramid!

Rest in peace Deirdre and fly with the angels in Heaven.